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Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum , Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered aid flights to transport urgent humanitarian aid and medical supplies from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Logistics Hub in Dubai to Sudan.

Under his directives, the International Humanitarian City (IHC) chartered two aircraft to deliver the aid material to Sudan.

The immediate supply of life-saving medicines, medical supplies, and technical logistics personnel is critical to support the efforts of WHO and Sudan’s Ministry of Health to deal with the health emergency and escalating crisis in the country. The supplies will alleviate critical shortages of medicines in health facilities and increase access to protective and biomedical equipment required for managing COVID-19.

700,000 beneficiaries

The IHC chartered two aircraft rotations from Emirates SkyCargo, a member of the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance (DVLA), to transport the vital cargo from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Khartoum Airport. The first plane landed in Khartoum on Sunday, 28 February. The second landed on Monday 1 March, carrying WHO supplies weighing 54 metric tons at a total value of USD 795,000, which is estimated to reach over 700,000 beneficiaries.

This marks the first time the WHO logistics hub in Dubai is simultaneously deploying technical logistics staff and medical supplies from Dubai to accelerate a health emergency response in support of WHO staff on the frontlines.

Last year, from September to December 2020, IHC activated a humanitarian air bridge carrying aid provided by the humanitarian community and stored within IHC warehouses in Dubai to support the Sudanese population affected by the floods and to help tens of thousands of refugees and displaced individuals fleeing the Tigray region of Ethiopia to Sudan.

Natural disasters

“By supporting the emergency response of its member community, IHC’s efforts reflect His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for assisting populations affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies,” said Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the International Humanitarian City. “IHC has been always together with its community and will continue to pro-actively support humanitarian actions and continue to serve communities in need,” he added.

WHO and IHC are dispatching emergency health kits, personnel protection equipment, laboratory tests and appropriated medical supplies stored within IHC premises, to help Sudan ease challenges in detecting, preventing, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and providing treatments.

“These supplies are a lifeline for people in need of health care in Sudan. Support from IHC has allowed us to deliver these supplies at a time when they are most needed, to make sure people have access to the health services they need and avoid unnecessary loss of lives. WHO is also grateful to the United States Agency for International Development, the European Commission for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, the Sudan Humanitarian Response Fund, and WHO’s Central Emergency Response Fund, whose generous contributions allowed the procurement of these urgently-needed supplies,” said Dr. Nima Abid, WHO representative in Sudan.